Aride Island known as the seabird citadel is situated 10 km north of Praslin and is covered in lush vegetation. It is 45 minutes away from Praslin by boat, passing by Booby Island. It can only be accessed at certain times of the year when the sea conditions are not so rough. Aride is one of two bird sanctuaries within our granitic islands. It is special due to its diversity, their cliff tops that allows you to have a stunning view of the neighboring islands, watch the birds swirling over the sea, and enjoy the picturesque view from the beach and all the conservation work carried out to provide a haven to birds, land animals and plants alike. A must-do for birdwatchers, nature lovers, biologists, and wildlife photographers.
It is home to more than thirty rare bird species and five endemic Seychelles birds amongst which are the Seychelles Blue Pigeon, the Sooty and White Tern, the Lesser Noddy, the Shearwater, the Seychelles Brush Warbler, the Seychelles Magpie Robin, the Seychelles Fody, and the Seychelles Sunbird to name a few. However, more than one million seabirds breed annually on Aride Island but then migrate to the other islands later.
Not forgetting the number of skink and three gecko species, as well as three species of harmless and non-poisonous snakes. On the beach you will get to encounter numerous ghost crabs, while in October to January, Aride hosts the Green and Hawksbill turtles coming onto land to lay their eggs.
British chocolate maker Christopher Cadbury bought the island in 1973 to deter alterations to its nature and donated it to the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves based in Britain of which he was a founder. Since 1975, Aride was state- assigned as a nature reserve and which has been monitored since 2008 by the Island Conservation Society and is now a haven for all sorts of birds.
Visitors must visit Aride in the mornings and during weekdays only. Guided group tours lasting 1 to 2.5 hours by the island rangers are available, however should you wish to have a private tour with a birding guide; it is advisable to book in advance as they are freelancers. For the physically fit, the tour includes a walk through the flat part of Aride before climbing up to its peak; visitors opting for the shorter guided tour, it will only take you through the plateau of the island however getting to see many birds and interesting plants and animals.
A trip to Aride can be combined with a barbecue on the island, a photographic session at St. Pierre, a visit to Curieuse and interact with giant land tortoises in the afternoon and snorkeling within the Curieuse Marine Park.